Sunday, January 27, 2008

Shouldn't smells good = tastes good?

One of Nathan's most favorite things to do recently is blow bubbles. He loved blowing them at Nena and Papa's in their backyard and still loves them here in Cbba. We've had to get a little creative and blow them off the back balcony of our apartment since we don't have a backyard anymore, but it doesn't seem to bother him one bit :)

Yesterday after a wet morning at the market with mommy and a good nap, Nathan had some fun bubble time with Daddy. He learned quite a valuable life lesson in the process... just because something smells good (the bubbles we have are grape scented), does not always mean it tastes good :)
All I knew was that I was in the kitchen and Gary came in saying your kiddo (why exactly is he always mine when he's done something silly I ask you?) needs some water to wash the yummy bubble taste out of his mouth... at this point I'm thinking, oh well, it's the bubbles aren't toxic so I'm not going to even ask :) I had forgotten all about it until I saw the photo op Gary had taken advantage of while they were out playing and I couldn't help share Nathan's learning experience with you. Here are a few more pictures of the bubble fun before the taste test ocurred...

(Notice the coffee cup in the lower right hand corner... thanks to Auntie Do Do there is little that is done in our house without a cup of Starbucks in hand :)
(this picture cracked me up... if you look close you can see that Nathan got just a little too focused on the bubbles :)
Okay, seriously Dad... are you done taking pictures now? It's time to get serious about this bubble blowing thing!

(If you look at the background you can tell we are definitely back downtown, and while we're missing a backyard for Nathan, the plusses so outweigh the drawbacks and we're so thankful for our new home!)

Then we closed out our day with a fun Birthday call for Nena... Nathan loves talking to his Nena, Papa, and Do Do now that he's old enough to really understand who he's talking to and remember all the fun he had with them while we were home...

Okay Mom... I can hear Nena, but I can't find her... are you sure she's in there? :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

When in doubt...

When it's not under the couch cushions or under the couch itself... when it's not in the hidden chambers of the recliner or one of the many toy bins... when it's not in the trash can because your two year old loves to "help" mommy put the trash away :) or in some random kitchen drawer... you can always count on the fact that the remote for the DVD player will be in that perfect sized hole of the surround sound speaker system... hey, that's what it's there for right? :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

No shock here...

It's no shock, no surprise that at almost 36 weeks pregnant I'm really tired all the time! Chasing a two year old couldn't have anything to do with it, could it? :) Well today I found out at the OBGYN that it's also due to me being pretty anemic. That could be in part to me always forgetting to take my vitamins like a good patient, so there wasn't a huge shock there... the shock was in the recommendation from my doc... of course iron supplements were among the list and that was to be expected, but the liver sandwiches recommended for breakfast every morning... didn't see that one coming :) "Just serve it on good crunchy bread with lemon juice sprinkled on top of the meat" she says to me, yeah I'll get right on that :) So if you're up for some fine iron filled cuisine, just head on down to South America... I'll see what I can cook up :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Like Father... Like Son

Nathan has decided that his daddy is the coolest :) Daddy is the one to play with, the one to throw the ball to, the one to run to, and the one to shadow. Now please know that there is no one else in the world I would rather have Nathan mimic... after all, he is the man I married, an amazing father, my partner in this life, and I respect and love him more each day. So to watch our son mirror Gary's every move is actually such a precious thing to me.

The other night Gary was on the land line phone on hold and Nathan kept saying phone, phone, phone. After realizing that Nathan just wanted a phone, not necessarily his daddy's phone we found a cell phone for him to play with... and for the next 5 minutes every move that Gary made Nathan was right behind... Gary would switch the phone to his other ear, followed by Nathan switching ears... Gary would put his finger to his mouth as if deep in thought, followed by Nathan... Gary even stuck his finger up to his ear as if to scratch it just to see what Nathan would do... Nathan followed :) This morning Gary sat in his chair and streched and streched and I looked across the room to see my little two year old sprawled out on the couch streching and making the streching noises just like his daddy :)

What a sweet image of a child so longing to be like his daddy, I sure could learn a thing or two from my son about desiring so deeply to be like my heavenly Father that I mimic his every move and teaching! May I strive today to mirror who He is in everything, not only for myself, but so others around me... from Cochabambinos to my own son... may see Him in me!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Per Request...

I'm not sure that I know any of my friends who just luv to post pregnant pictures of themselves on their blogs, but we do love to keep our reading public happy... so as per request from my own mom... here you go... 35 weeks and counting :)

We went to the doctor this week and everything's looking good, little man is head down and ready to go. Let's hope he stays put for just a little longer, I still have his bed to make :) Nathan is starting to really talk to the baby. He'll say "Where is Grant... where'd he go?" (Did I mention the new little man's name is Grant Thomas?) Then he'll listen to my belly and give it a kiss :) sweet big brother! Not as funny though as when he "rings" my belly button like a door bell and then knocks on my belly as if to say, open up and let that guy out, I'm ready to play :) Thank you for all your prayers over our pregnancy and our new baby!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bye "home"

It's been almost a week now since we stumbled out of baggage claim to meet our teammates who so graciously came to pick us up at the airport! It's been a week of resettling, reorganizing, washing baby clothes, setting up baby's room, making a play room for Nathan, doctor visits (just to check in with my doc here), reacquainting ourselves with life in South America and saying good-bye in our hearts to the "home" we left behind.

Nathan cracks me up in so many ways and one of the precious things he started doing while we were home was saying good-bye to everything. I'm sure that every kid goes through this phase, but afford me the opportunity to think mine's super cute since he's my first and it's my first good-bye phase experience :)

I think the first time we noticed it on furlough was when we told Nathan it was time to leave a playground that we were playing at, and although not happy about the having to leave, he started calling from his daddy's arms, bye slide... bye swing... bye (insert playground equipment, all the way down to the dirt :) He has kept this up and continues to do it even back here in Bolivia. It makes me smile, and helps avoid meltdowns when we have to leave a place he's enjoying so hey... I'm not complaining. But I thought in honor of Nathan and our one-week mark back in Cochabamba I would post a bye America list... the good, the bad and the ugly :) so hold on tight cause here we go...

  • Bye Starbucks in all your glory... your coffee, your drive-thru, and your star employee Auntie Do-Do
  • Bye Sonic... oh how we will miss your slushes and french fries
  • Bye American roads and highways... oh how we will miss driving in an orderly world
  • Bye frozen food section... oh how we will miss your chicken nuggets and Blue Bell ice cream
  • Bye Wal-Mart and Target... although we were tired of making Wal-Mart runs at the end... it was so nice to have the convenience of everything in one place, under one orderly and clean roof!
  • Bye church services that have an offered nursery or children's church to care for our very active two-year old little man
  • Bye DVR... oh how we will miss the convenience of recording what we'd love to watch and enjoy it after said two year old is sleeping peacefully in his bed :)
  • Bye produce section... although we loved not having to disinfect every morsel, you cannot hold a candle to the fresh fruits and veggies we've already enjoyed upon our return
  • Bye other people's houses... and we say that with all the love and appreciation in the world for those who opened their homes and hearts to us... making us feel welcome and comfortable in ways we never imagined... but there is something to be said for being back in your own space
  • Bye fast food... we loved your drive thrus and playgrounds, even if after an hour we remembered why we didn't eat you very often... oh the greasy aftermath feeling we will not miss :)
  • Bye bath time... no worries, we haven't given up on bath time all together :) but it was so wonderful for almost three months to let Nathan get all pruny during bath time without a worry in the world that he would end his water play time with a new parasite.
  • Bye consignment shops and hand-me-downs... what a blessing it was to have friends pass things on to us, since we're the only little boy on the team, hand-me-downs are few and far between :)
  • Bye schedule driven life... we won't miss you at all :)
  • Bye big kids who doted on Nathan and treated him like such a special little boy, he's going through detox of not having you around to play :)
  • Bye family and friends... we will miss you most of all, the support you provide, the way you love on each of us, the rest and relaxation you gave to us was invaluable. We love you each more than you can know and will treasure the memories of our time back home while looking forward to the next time!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nathan's creative offering...

Well we’ve made it home safe and sound… Nathan is settling back into running around the apartment like a little wild man and we’re slowly resettling into life here. We’re being reminded of differences we experienced in our first days here… crossing the street, differences in shopping and the ever exciting adventure of cooking in a foreign country :). We’ve reorganized the apartment a lot over the last week and we’re almost unpacked. Still have lots to do in the baby’s room, but little by little it’s all coming together. It has been good to be back in our own beds and in our own space although we sure do miss being with family and friends too.

We had our first Sunday back at church this morning and it was so good to see everyone. I should have realized though that our first Sunday back here would be as emotional as our first back in the states, but remember, I’m a slow processor :). I was thankful to be able to greet new brothers and sisters in Christ, hug their necks and meet new visitors, but it was hard not having my parents and sister sitting down the pew from us. I missed having a nursery or Children’s church for Nathan, and I had to remind myself that it was back to work :) needless to say I personally was exhausted at the end of the day. It was a good tired, but tired none the less.

But I have to remember to tell you one of the most precious things about this morning. I was in the kitchen preparing tea and coffee for our time between service and class and Gary walked into the kitchen with the offering baskets. During our time home we worked with Nathan on giving to God as he put money into the contribution plates at the many churches we attended… he even tried to take up collection one Sunday night after church when he found the plates up front unguarded, but that’s a whole other story :)

This morning found my little boy without change to put in the plate, and I like to think that in his sweet little mind he thought… what else could I give to God that’s worth a lot to me? And what did he have at the time but his gummy fruit snacks. I know that many people have sent these precious snacks of gold to us packed in envelopes for our toddler since we can’t get anything like them here, so I followed their example and used the tiny packages of yummy snacks to pack in our trunks on the way home… they’re great space fillers and good treats for Nathan. Well, apparently Nathan offered his to God this morning :) Gary brought the basket over to me to see this morning and what did I find but two precious gummy snacks placed in the collection basket as Nathan’s offering to God. I’m reminded of the widow in scripture who gave all she had, and I’m thankful for the lesson that I hope Nathan is learning to give what he values most to God!

Thank you for all your prayers over our travels back home and for your continued prayers as we continue to adjust to being back. Please continue to pray for us as we set new goals for our work here in Cochabamba: working to set goals for our family that will best serve the church, our family, and above all our God.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The running of the Bull...

You gotta go check out Auntie Do-Do's new blog post... it's the running of the cutest little Bull I've ever seen :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A little education...

Disclaimer... this post is meant to be light hearted and fun... even a little educational... not the bitter diatribes of an increasingly larger pregnant mommy... I promise :) That being said, here we go...

This is my blog space right? So I have the right to voice my opinion... state my mind... gently educate those in need of enlightening? Well whether you have affirmed my soapbox or told me to keep my opinions to myself... here I go!

I have a bone to pick, and yes being that I am 33 weeks pregnant it centers on the new life growing inside me. That is the truth of the matter... there is a beautiful thing going on, a God designed and planned thing going on in this mommy. But for all the people who feel the need to constantly point out to the pregnant mommies of the world, who are working very hard to make babies I might add, that they are getting bigger and bigger and bigger... you kind of kill the mood, spoil the magic, and put a damper on things just a little :)

Let me state the obvious: We women know very well that everyday we wake up and our bodies have grown ounces, inches, at times it feels like pounds just overnight. It is acutely obvious to us when that pair of jeans that fit yesterday just won't let us in, that desk that we just crossed a full room of people to sit in... the same one that we fit in last week at ladies' Bible class, will no longer accommodate the growingness of our bellies, and as the stares or pity looks of those around us prove to us that our poor little bodies are not so little anymore. Having said that, the constant verbal reminder from strangers, "friends" :) and others around us that we are getting "so big" is not exactly uplifting in the midst of the mire of hormones and an increasingly uncomfortable body that is holding us captive until the birth of our beautiful unborn child :)

Please allow me to make a suggestion... the change of subject in a comment regarding the size of a pregnant mommy would make all the difference in the world! Let me demonstrate...

Unsuspecting nitwit approaches pregnant mommy to make the following comment...
"Wow you're getting so big! How are you feeling?"
We can all see that the subject of the first sentence is the mommy... the carrier... the host of the unborn child... now let's try it this way...

"Wow, the baby's getting so big... how are you feeling?"
Now... it's not a huge change, not a dramatic grammatical restructuring... just a simple change of focus. The truth is it was not in my 2007 New Year's resolutions to gain the suggested 25-35 pounds as I entered the new year of 2008. I didn't wake up one day and say... hey let's get fat starting... NOW... :) Billy Crystal did not walk into my kitchen and say hey... let's take your new friends Ben and Jerry and turn your butt into a helipad :) (We love that scene in Forget Paris).

But the reality is that to remain healthy and for the health of my unborn child, my body will grow as he does. My body will give nourishment, a safe place to develop and grow and eventually life to this new little man about to enter our world. Please know that it is by the grace of God that all this is allowed to happen and I am so aware of that. I thank Him everyday for the gift of our new son... and I know that He is who has given me the strength to endure another pregnancy... yet it's my physical body that's growing, changing, and let's be real... aching. So please... if you feel the need to comment on the changing size of a pregnant mommy in your world, take a moment to stop and remember that it's the baby within that is the cause of her growth. Remember that in that one subject change you can give much needed encouragement to a pregnant mommy... reminding her that you think it's amazing what's happening as she nurtures a new life within her :)

If you're still with me :) let me say a huge thank you for your listening ear... your patience... and your humoring me in the midst of the beautiful world of pregnancy :)